GOPO Unit 2 Terms

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AP United States Government and Politics


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the determination of the proportional number of members each US state sends to the House of Representatives, based on population figures


agreement or cooperation between two political parties that usually oppose each other's policies

budget deficit

when government spending outpaces revenue or the income drawn from taxes, fees, and investments

budget surplus

when a body (such as the U.S. government) spends less money during an accounting period than it takes in through revenue


(in a legislative assembly) a procedure for ending a debate and taking a vote

committee chairs

the parliamentary head of a committee, who sets the committee's agenda

Committee of the Whole

a meeting of a legislative or deliberative assembly using procedural rules that are based on those of a committee, except that in this case the committee includes all members of the assembly


a body of voters in a specified area who elect a representative to a legislative body

delegate role

individuals who represent the political interests of a group of people in their state at the Democratic National Convention (DNC) and the Republican National Convention (RNC)

discharge petition

a means of bringing a bill out of committee and to the floor for consideration without a report from the committee by "discharging" the committee from further consideration of a bill or resolution

discretionary spending

government spending implemented through an appropriations bill

divided government

a type of government in presidential systems, when control of the executive branch and the legislative branch is split between two political parties, respectively, and in semi-presidential systems, when the executive branch itself is split between two parties

entitlement programs

a government program that guarantees certain benefits to a particular group or segment of the population


an action such as a prolonged speech that obstructs progress in a legislative assembly while not technically contravening the required procedures


manipulating the boundaries of (an electoral constituency) so as to favor one party or class


An informal practice by which a senator informs Senate leadership that he or she does not wish a particular measure or nomination to reach the floor for consideration

House Majority Leader

the head of the majority party in a legislative body, especially the US Senate or House of Representatives

House Rules Committee

a committee of the United States House of Representatives responsible for the rules under which bills will be presented to the House of Representatives, unlike other committees, which often deal with a specific area of policy


the holding of an office or the period during which one is held

Lame duck period

The time during which a president who has lost an election or has ended a second term is still in office before the new president serves


the practice of exchanging favors, especially in politics by reciprocal voting for each other's proposed legislation

majority-minority districts

an electoral district, such as a United States congressional district, in which the majority of the constituents in the district are racial or ethnic minorities


the creation of electoral districts with divergent ratios of voters to representatives

mandatory spending

all spending that does not take place through appropriations legislation, including entitlement programs and federal debt interest spending

minority leader

the head of the minority party in a legislative body, especially the US Senate or House of Representatives

national debt

the total amount of money that a country's government has borrowed, by various means

Office of Management and Budget (OMB)

the largest office within the Executive Office of the President of the United States that oversees the implementation of the President's vision across the Executive Branch


the review, monitoring, and supervision of federal agencies, programs and policy implementation, and it provides the legislative branch with an opportunity to inspect, examine, review and check the executive branch and its agencies

partisan gerrymandering

redistricting that favors one political party

Political Action Committee (PAC)

a political committee organized for the purpose of raising and spending money to elect and defeat candidates

politico role

a politician or person with strong political views

pork barrel spending

a metaphor for the appropriation of government spending for localized projects secured solely or primarily to bring money to a representative's district


dividing or organizing (an area) into new political or school districts

Speaker of the House

the presiding officer of the United States House of Representatives

trustee role

an individual person or member of a board given control or powers of administration of property in trust with a legal obligation to administer it solely for the purposes specified

unanimous consent agreement

an Agreement on any question or matter before the Senate that sets aside a rule of procedure to expedite proceedings


a constitutional right to reject a decision or proposal made by a law-making body


an official of a political party whose task is to ensure party discipline in a legislature


Setting priorities for Congress and attempting to get majorities to put through the president's legislative agenda

Bully pulpit

a public office or position of authority that provides its occupant with an outstanding opportunity to speak out on any issue

Executive agreement

an international agreement, usually regarding routine administrative matters not warranting a formal treaty, made by the executive branch of the US government without ratification by the Senate

Executive branch

the part of government that enforces law, and has responsibility for the governance of a state

Executive office of the President (EOP)

the offices and agencies that support the work of the president at the center of the executive branch of the United States federal government

Executive order

declaration by the president or a governor which has the force of law, usually based on existing statutory powers

Executive privilege

the privilege, claimed by the president for the executive branch of the US government, of withholding information in the public interest

Formal or enumerated powers

the powers granted to the federal government of the United States by the United States Constitution

Going public

when a company undertakes its initial public offering, or IPO, by selling shares of stock to the public


the process by which a legislative body or other legally constituted tribunal initiates charges against a public official for misconduct

Informal powers of the President

bargaining and persuasion, issuing executive orders, issuing signing statements, negotiating executive agreements-all examples of powers inferred from the Constitution